WNT Inhibitory Activity of Malus Pumila miller cv Annurca and Malus domestica cv Limoncella Apple Extracts on Human Colon-Rectal Cells Carrying Familial Adenomatous Polyposis Mutations.
Nutrients. 2017 Nov 18 ;9(11). Epub 2017 Nov 18. PMID: 29156563
Inhibitors of the Wingless-related Integration site (WNT)/β-catenin pathway have recently been under consideration as potential chemopreventive agents against Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP). This autosomal-dominant syndrome is caused by germline mutations in the gene coding for the protein APC and leads to hyperactivation of the WNT/β-catenin signaling pathway, uncontrolled intestinal cell proliferation and formation of adenocarcinomas. The aim of the present work was to: (i) test, on in vitro cultures of cells carrying FAP mutations and on ex vivo biopsies of FAP patients, the WNT inhibitory activity of extracts from two common southern Italian apples, Malus pumila Miller cv. 'Annurca' and Malus domestica cv 'Limoncella'; (ii) identify the mechanisms underpinning their activities and; (iii) evaluate their potency upon gastrointestinal digestion. We here show that both Annurca and Limoncella apple extracts act as WNT inhibitors, mostlythanks to their polyphenolic contents. They inhibit the pathway in colon cells carrying FAP mutations with active dilutions falling in ranges close to consumer-relevant concentrations. Food-grade manufacturing of apple extracts increases their WNT inhibitory activity as result of the conversion of quercetin glycosides into the aglycone quercetin, a potent WNT inhibitor absent in the fresh fruit extract. However, in vitro simulated gastrointestinal digestion severely affected WNT inhibitory activity of apple extracts, as result of a loss of polyphenols. In conclusion, our results show that apple extracts inhibit the WNT pathway in colon cells carrying FAP mutations and represent a potential nutraceutical alternative for the treatment of this pathology. Enteric coating is advisable to preserve the activity of the extracts in the colon-rectal section of the digestive tract.